In January of 2009 Palm had one of their biggest and most exciting months in years. The announcement of a completely new Operating System for Palm and new hardware to support it, the Palm Pre. Stocks were dropping drastically a few months before and something had to be done with the outdated Palm line ergo Web OS and the Pre. Literally for the first year after the major announcement the Pre was a desired phone and since it was exclusive to Sprint it was a desired phone to have because not everyone could have one. In fact this phone remained popular until Htc announced the Evo which spec wise blew the Pre away. Hence the beginning of the end for Palm. Palm was focused on Web OS and its future but made some major mistakes on the way with replacing a certain CEO which crippled a certain innovation that was Web OS. Then marketing out to other carriers and losing the exclusivity with Sprint after bigger and better phones came out with better overall hardware and performance on al other carriers Palm just couldn't seem to compete. The major issue wasn't the lack of having a good OS, that was only a small part, but the lack of innovation and exclusivity and keeping up with the times in terms of hardware specifications. The one thing everyone wants is what? What they can't have right? Until they get it, then it gets old relatively fast, unless there are constant updates to improve performance and ease of use. Apple and Ios are great examples of this idea, making something old new again, at least in terms of the operating system. They maintained exclusivity to AT&T for years and built up that wow factor by being an exclusive product for years. The trend here is exclusivity and keeping things fresh. For Palm with the announcement of the Palm Pre plus and 2 it was much of the same old thing and many people were disappointed with the hardware specifications of the phone. Before Palm even had a chance at releasing the Palm Pre 3 Stateside it was over and the sellout to HP had already been done. Had the hardware been more up to date and exclusivity been more of a factor and yes even had the openness been there for more developers sooner then maybe Palm would have had a better shot. Even losing exclusivity they could have maintained if there were more of a open development community to support the OS. Without going into a completely new novel here look at Android for a moment. Hundreds of devises released a year from different manufacturers and on different carriers, some exclusive and some not. Android has thrived because of not just over saturation as far as mobile devices are concerned but because of the openness of the operating system. Developers can make an old phone like new again with a custom rom or tweaks here and there. Even an Motorola Droid can be made like new again with a custom Rom. Sure the specs are outdated but having an open operating system and developers who back it has really helped Android stay fresh for so long.
As for Rim errr I mean Blackberry in my opinion they are following the path of Palm but at a much faster rate. The announcement made yesterday for BB10 and the new hardware to support it is just not feeling fresh and new or exclusive. Maybe if it was only being announced as exclusive to a certain carrier at first and had better hardware to back it or something a bit more innovative rather than feeling like a mash up of certain already on the market operating systems then yes they would have a shot but that's just not the case. So the question remains. Is history repeating itself? From the looks of things thus far it seems so, but who knows maybe Blackberry will have a hat trick of some sort to pull in the tides of followers who are jumping ship. Then again maybe not.. R.I.P. Rim & Blackberry?